Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Blog Tour {Review, Excerpt & Giveaway}—The Grimm Chronicles: Volume 1 by Ken Brosky & Isabella Fontaine

Stopping by The LUVNV today is the The Grimm Chronicles blog tour, hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer.
We've got a review, excerpt, and giveaway for an eBook copy for you!

The Grimm Chronicles
by Ken Brosky & Isabella Fontaine
Volume #1 of Grimm Chronicles  series
Publication: May 23rd 2012
Genre: YA Fantasy

Amazon Goodreads
200 years ago, the Brothers Grimm unleashed their stories upon the world. Literally. Now the characters of the Grimms’ stories walk among us. With every day that passes, they grow more evil. They are the Corrupted, and only a hero can stop them.

For 18-year-old Alice Goodenough, that means taking precious time off from her summer vacation. In addition to volunteering at the local library, Alice must stop the Corrupted who are now actively hunting her down. With the help of her magic pen and her trusty rabbit friend, the world has suddenly gotten a lot more complex. The Corrupted are everywhere, and only Alice can see them for what they truly are.

This book contains the first 3 episodes of the critically acclaimed series:
Episode 1: Prince Charming Must Die!
Episode 2: Happily Never After
Episode 3: Revenge of the Castle Cats

Additional features for this special edition:
— An introduction
— Two special "Lost Diaries"
— A behind-the-scenes interview
— A collection of original Grimms' Fairy Tales

The Grimm Chronicles  was one of those books I wanted to hug after I finished it. And it had nothing to do with the fact that it takes place in New Berlin, Wisconsin, just a few blocks from where I live. Okay, it was  pretty neat to read and know every little street and place mentioned, but that wasn't what made this book special.

The Grimm Chronicles  combines three short stories, a few lost diary entries, and the original Grimm Fairy Tales that the included stories are based off, in which the characters were brought to life and became Corrupted.

18-year-old Alice Goodenough, along with Briar Rabbit and the magic pen that the Grimm brothers used to write their stories, learns she's destined to be the hero—the one who hunts down and kills the once-beloved, now-corrupted characters. With each task, she discovers more about herself, her lineage, and each character's story, weaving a tale about growing up and one sad truth: That fairy tales don't have a place in a real life.

Or does it? I adored Alice and Briar so much that I want a small fairy tale ending. Because Briar, who has been every past hero's sidekick, is also a Corrupted, and I'm dreading what that means for the end. Yet I'm eagerly looking forward to the remaining volumes in the series.

The authors transposed The Grimm Tales  with The Grimm Chronicles  perfectly, gathering the classically morbid and spinning a wonderful, heartwarming read but without losing the Grimm. They created a hero(ine) as an average yet strong, unique teen—still a little naive, fashion-prone, and undecided about her future but could wield a foil, would walk everywhere instead of drive, and depended on family, friends, and books. And I really appreciated how they included the original stories, as well as lost diary entries that really lent an air of "what-could'have-been."

I'd recommend The Grimm Chronicles  to anyone who loves The Grimm—but not too grim—Tales, fast adventure, strong heroines who uses brains not just brawn, and good laughs with a witty, five-foot, vest-wearing bunny.

eBook provided by the authors and I Am A Reader, Not A Writer in exchange for a review.
Thank you!

I’d made a habit of cutting through the alleys to get home quicker. Really not a big deal in my neighborhood—the most recent crime had happened two weeks ago: some teenagers had toilet-papered a house. They got caught and were promptly grounded for two weeks … it was big gossip.
Briar the giant rabbit was with me, gleefully recounting old stories about past heroes. He seems to enjoy doing that. Usually I listened pretty intently, but tonight I couldn’t stop breathing in the perfect air. Somewhere, a handful of birds were finishing up a conversation before bedtime. The end of a beautiful Wisconsin summer day.
So I wasn’t exactly expecting a giant frog monster to be lying in wait behind the Williamsons’ garage.
“Rabbit!” I shouted, pushing him aside the moment I saw the shadow spring out from behind one of the tall green garbage cans next to the garage door. Briar went flying to safety … and I ended up right in the monster’s path.
I didn’t even get a good look at him before a pair of strong, slimy arms wrapped around my body, pushing me across the alley and toward the Carlyle family garage. I could feel his hot breath on my neck. I could hear saliva vibrating in the back of his throat and it was all I could do to keep from screaming in horror.
My leg planted itself firmly on the concrete. I dropped my weight and spun us around, letting the momentum carry us forward. Only now the slimy creature was leading the way; he slammed into the garage and his grip loosened enough for me to pull away.
Slip away, actually. Because he was really slimy.
I jumped a few steps back so I could get a good look at him. The sun had almost completely set; the light on the Carlyle’s garage blinked on like some serendipitous spotlight.
“You’re disgusting!” I exclaimed. I couldn’t help it … he really was disgusting. He looked like a giant human-shaped frog. His arms and legs were thin and green. His head was big and round and he had enormous bowl-sized white eyeballs. His mouth opened, letting thick white drool ooze out.
“Alice!” he said. Or maybe it was just a slurping sound and my mind was playing tricks on me.
He smelled like a sewer. Like rotting grass mixed with old banana peels and dog dung. I smelled that way, too. My second-favorite sleeveless linen Pintuck top was soaked through with whatever stinky slime had been coating his arms.
“Stay back!” I warned, but the creature stumbled forward, reaching out for me. I dodged out of the way and backed up, trying to put some distance between us. But before I could, the frog-creature turned and hopped.
Right on top of me.
We fell onto the hard concrete. His slimy webbed fingers held me to the ground. His giant mouth opened and more drool oozed out. Deep inside that giant mouth were teeth: little, sharp teeth.
“No!” I cried out. I kicked wildly and connected with one of his legs; he groaned in pain, losing his balance. I pushed with all my might and rolled him away from me. The sharp tips of his webbed fingers cut my skin as he tried in vain to grab me again.
But now I was up. My elbow hurt from when it had landed on the concrete and my arm was bleeding from the stupid creature’s claws, but I was still up.
“The magic pen!” Briar called out.
I turned, searching for his familiar rabbit-shaped form in the darkness. Only a few of the garages had floodlights so most of the alley was full of creeping shadows. My vision blurred. The entire alley seemed to be spinning. Get a hold of yourself, Alice! Use the pen!
I pulled it from the pocket of my jeans and ran to the other side of the alley. I drew a saber on the garage door and pulled it away. I spun, watching the frog-creature stumble to his feet, groaning a stomach-churning guttural groan.
My sweaty hand tightly gripped the handle of the sword. The weight felt good. The blade looked sharp. About 88 centimeters long, give or take. Unlike the foil, which was a fencing sword designed for stabbing, the saber’s entire blade was sharp. I could slice this nasty frog-guy in half if I really wanted.
“Alice! Look out!”
I glanced up and jumped out of the way right before the frog-creature could grab me. He kept going, slamming into the garage door with a thud and falling over. I stepped up and stabbed my saber at his head. He ducked out of the way and the saber’s tip connected with the concrete.
The blade bent, then snapped in half.
“Oh cripes!” Briar cried out from the shadows.
“Settle down, rabbit!” I shouted. OK. I still had half a sword. The end was sharp enough. Don’t panic, Alice. Death by frog is not happening under any circumstances.
The frog creature was standing again. His mouth opened and closed, opened and closed. Even in the darkness, I could see his sharp white teeth. Each webbed finger twiddled, ready to bury itself in my soft slightly tanned flesh.
“Come on, then,” I told him.
He obliged, taking two steps toward me and then he was airborne, a good ten feet in the air. I clutched the hilt of my saber and drew in a long, deep breath. As he descended, I could see the terrible claws of his webbed fingers, all of them pointed directly at me. I ducked low, stepped left, and then stabbed the broken blade upward.
Poof! The frog-creature burst apart into a thousand little papery shreds that burned away as they floated to the ground.
“Wonderful!” Briar exclaimed, stepping out from behind the Williamsons’ garbage can. He clapped his little paws together.
“Yeah, right,” I murmured. “You know, this whole hero business would be a lot easier if I had some super powers. That really hurt when he landed on me!”
Briar shrugged. “Yes, well, we do what we can with what we have.”
“And where were you, might I ask?” I stabbed a finger at his soft belly. He always wore the same outfit: slacks and a vest.
“I was monitoring your progress,” he said, “from behind the garbage can. I did at one point offer some advice, too.”

“5 stars!”Bookies Book Blog

"Highly recommended for all who love fairy tales and the YA genre."My Cozie Corner

"If you love fairy tales and them being turned into modern day stories you will love these short stories."Mom With a Kindle

“Isabella Fontaine and Ken Brosky’s incredible talent for storytelling takes the reader on an amazing action-packed ride fueled by endless creativity and limitless imagination. TGC is like a high-stakes version of Harold and the Purple Crayon meets a contemporary, above ground Alice in Wonderland.“Bookfetish

“I absolutely loved this book! No, let me rephrase that, I FREAKING LOVE THIS BOOK! Nope, that doesn't even do it justice. Vol. 1 has the first three stories from the 12 that will ultimately make up the chronicles.”Jesse Kimmel-Freeman

Ken Brosky received his MFA from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He’s written a number of books and regularly publishes short stories. He also helps out at Brew City Press whenever possible. This is his first young adult collection.

Isabella Fontaine lives a quiet life on a farm in rural Wisconsin. She enjoys reading Grimm’s Fairy Tales and writing on a typewriter, which annoys her cats. This is her first book collection.

Tour Giveaway
5 Kindle ebook copies of The Grimm Chronicles: Volume 1
Ends March 15, 2013

Part two of The Grimm Chronicles  tour stops by The LUV'NV on April 2nd!


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